Spending the holidays on the Outer Banks is a time-honored tradition for families from both near and far. Bountiful feasts abound for those who want to stay out of the kitchen, and several local restaurants are deliciously open on Thanksgiving and/or Christmas days.

Start making plans now: It is hard to decide where to eat. Check restaurant websites for sample menus and other tasty details. Some chefs are serving traditional plated meals, and some are sharing opulent buffets of southern favorites including topped oysters, creamy crab casseroles and plenty of sweet potato and pecan pies.

Home cooking doesn’t mean you need to cook it yourself. Maybe your family’s newest tradition will be letting someone else cook (and clean up!) the entire meal.

Following is a partial list of local eateries serving traditional buffets, special menus and house specialties to help you make plans.

Call your favorite eatery soon, many restaurants serving holiday meals accept reservations and will happily save you and yours a seat.


Red Sky Café:

Sanderling Resort:

Sunset Grille & Raw Bar:


Argyles Restaurant:

Sanya Sushi Bistro:

  • Open Thanksgiving and Christmas, 3919 N. Croatan Hwy., (252) 261-1946, sanyaobx.com


Captain George’s Seafood Restaurant:

Jolly Roger:

  • Open Thanksgiving and Christmas, 1836 N. Virginia Dare Trail, (252) 441-6530, jollyrogerobx.com

Mako Mike’s Beach Grille:

  • Open Thanksgiving, 1630 N. Croatan Hwy., (252) 480-1919, makomikes.com

Thai Room:

  • Open Thanksgiving and Christmas, 710 S. Virginia Dare Trail, (252) 441-1180, thairoomobx.com


Basnight’s Lone Cedar Café:

Dirty Dick’s Crab House:

Kelly’s Restaurant & Tavern:

Mulligan’s Grille:

  • Open Thanksgiving and Christmas, 4005 S. Croatan Hwy., (252) 480-2000, mulligansobx.com

Owens’ Restaurant:

Pamlico Jack’s:

  • Thanksgiving and Christmas buffets, 6708 S. Croatan Hwy., (252) 441-2637, pamlicojacks.com


Café Pamlico at Inn at Pamlico:

Good Winds:

Amy Gaw is a food entrepreneur who has eaten, cooked and written about food on the Outer Banks and surrounding areas for more than three decades. A clean food advocate with a focus on local seafood, Gaw is also a salt maker and the founder of Outer Banks SeaSalt.

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